Which Winery

SPRING CLEAN YOUR PALATE WITH CALIFORNIA MERLOT

by Jyll Jara, WSET II

I imagine a day when suggesting a California Merlot will not require a reference to the film “Sideways”, and the subsequent vilified status of the innocent grape. Alas, Hollywood has had a definite impact; and for good or bad, CA Merlot has been on a mission to prove itself worthy to its French Bordeaux counterparts ever since (which happen to account for some of the most expensive wines in the world). Admittedly, there was a certain time-period where CA Merlot became a homogenous “easy drinker”, coaxed by high alcohol, manipulative amounts of oak, and imperceptible acid. Fair enough. However, don’t blame nor overlook this smooth, luscious grape. When treated properly, CA Merlot is truly a world class wine. Stray from the pack, and confuse your family and friends with a bottle of Merlot-you wine rebel you.

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Duckhorn Vineyards, “Rector Creek Vineyard”, 2012, Merlot, Napa Valley

A definite CA Merlot classic. Layers of red fruit, licorice and wet stone.
Via WhichWinery.com

Cioppino

Via Saveur.com

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Pride Mountain Vineyards, 2012, Merlot, Napa/Sonoma

Bright plum, cherry and rose petal with vibrant acidity.
Via WhichWinery.com

Herbed Fresh Pasta with Market Tomatoes and Peppers

Via bonappetit.com

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Ridge Vineyards, “Monte Bello”, 2013, Estate Merlot, Santa Cruz Mountains

Bramble fruit, juniper, roasted coffee and clove.
Via WhichWinery.com

Coffee-Braised Spoon Lamb

Via myrecipes.com

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Mayacamas, 2007, Merlot, Napa Valley

Cherry and black plum aromas, cedar and mint.

Via WhichWinery.com

Pasta with Aubergine & Tomato Sauce

Via jamieoliver.com

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Oberon, 2014, Merlot, Napa Valley

Dense black fruit, lush chocolate and supple tannins.
Via WhichWinery.com

Bacony Roasted Chickpeas

Via bonappetit.com

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Kapscandy Family, “Roberta’s Reserve”, State Lane Vineyards, 2013, Merlot, Yountville

100% Merlot. 100% Big. Baller. Wine. Chocolate, black cherry fruit and elegance galore.
Via WhichWinery.com

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Lavender

Via foodandwine.com

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